Isn’t Chastity just not having sex before marriage?
“No!” scream our two — no, wait, three — student organizations which focus on the issue. Actually, the headcount is four, four groups on campus are devoted to sexual and gendered theology; Esto Vir, Gratia Plena, Redefined, and the Anscombe Society.
Each group claims to provide something different, and in a sense they do, but they are really just different takes on the same thing: chastity.
Theology is a rich subject, and despite the burden our TRS requirements present, it can provide really fruitful and thought provoking discussions even for the least religious. However, theology is not confined sex.
We’re not in middle school any more. Sure, we spend our collegiate lives seeking excellent nights between the sheets, but does that mean we are sex-obsessed? Take the topics of discussion in these four student organizations, their nights of sisterly and brotherly solidarity are often around the trials encountered by those genders in respect to sex. Perhaps this obsession over learning literally everything about intercourse/relations/ “the deed” is the result of idolizing sex.
Students in these groups will leap to defend themselves, saying that they don’t idolize sex.
Detractors will sniff and say “Repressed!” with accusative disdian. Saying that a member of Esto Vir or Gratia Plena is just “repressed” and that’s why they can’t stop talking about God’s purpose for their sexual lives, is dismissive of what those groups actually discuss. They are places where men and women can speak on issues distinct to them and their gender – safe spaces. Geez.
The Anscobme Society and Redefined both investigate the details of chastity and sexual purity, the first from a secular stance, the second from Theology of the Body, St. Pope John Paul II’s best friend. Could we possibly discuss theology without discussing sex? Maybe we could just tone down the focus on the issue.
Pipe dream. If four student organizations on chastity and gendered theology isn’t enough, you could add a fifth member of a sex-focused student group – Students for Life. But let’s not talk about abortion. I’m out of room.